The Rev. James Jones is one of two organizers of a July 31 prayer and healing service for people with HIV/AIDS.
But in Jones’ mind, the “healing” may have been targeted at homosexuality, not AIDS.
Jones told a church publication that he is “ex-gay,” compared homosexuality to addictions, said gays needed to give up their lifestyle to get into heaven, and opposed gay marriage.
When a Cleveland HIV/AIDS service agency and the local gay and lesbian community center learned of Jones’ comments, they revoked their prominently advertised sponsorship of the service. Three other agencies — including a Baptist ministry — distanced themselves from the event or denied knowing that their names had been used to promote the event.
“We feel incredibly deceived and betrayed,” Tim Marshall, a spokesperson for the Lesbian/Gay community center told the Plain Dealer.
According to the Plain Dealer, the center had agreed to help print the flyers and promote the event after Jones approached gay rights groups two months ago hoping to be included in Black Gay and Proud Celebration Week.
Jones said that he was only expressing his personal views, and that the service — having already benefited from the agencies’ marketing support — would proceed.